Connor Roberts speaks of doubts after loan spells at Bristol Rovers and Boro
He made just one league appearance for Middlesbrough in a loan move last season, but now Connor Roberts is thriving for club and country.
Having been signed by former Swans boss Garry Monk, Roberts’ only real exposure to first-team football was a loan spell at League Two side Yeovil Town where he played 54 times.
But failed loan spells at Bristol Rovers and Middlesbrough, have been the making of the Swans defender, who has become an important player for Swansea and Wales.
Roberts said he doubted himself when he failed to make an impact with Middlesbrough, reflecting from each training session on the loan move.
“Things have changed, for club and for country. It’s brilliant, from my point of view, and from my friends, family and people who know me know that I worked so hard in my early days to be where I am today.”
“Before that, a lot of people don’t know, I was at Bristol Rovers; didn’t get a game, didn’t get a look in. I questioned whether I was good enough if I would have a career in League Two, just plodding along.
“Since I came back from Middlesbrough, things have gone much better very quickly.
“There’s been a lot of turnarounds, not just in my life but at Swansea, at Wales as well. There’s been a lot of transitions all over my life.”
Since having his loan terminated in January with Middlesbrough, Roberts has cemented himself in the Swansea side, following their relegation from the Championship.
The Swans defender made his international debut against Uruguay in the final of the China Cup, despite only playing a handful of games over the last six month. This highlighting the belief that manager Ryan Giggs has in the 23-year-old.
He has now played 17 times for the Swans this season, scoring two goals for Graham Potter’s side, as they put together a charge for an immediate return to the Premier League. For Wales, he has displaced mainstay Chris Gunter in the right-back position, as Giggs marks a new era of Welsh football.
The Swansea and Wales right-back highlighted his determination to succeed in the professional game, “I think I’ve adapted well to little aspects of them, and I need to keep on going and keep on performing better and better.”
“I like to think that every opportunity, from coming back from Middlesbrough, making my debut, making my Premier League debut, Wales debut; I think I’ve performed very well and not let myself down.
“Ever since I was a little boy, I just said every time I play just do my best and if it’s not good enough, it’s not good enough. But so far, touch wood, it’s been more than good enough.”
Having become a regular starter for Swansea, the defender’s contract expires at the end of the season,
The Swans hierarchy will hopeful of tying down one of their academy products, having already had Joe Rodon put pen to paper on a new deal.
But having had a taste of playing in the Premier League before and potential interest from the top flight, Roberts says his focus is firmly on playing for club and country.
“I’ve got to keep on performing well on the pitch for club and country, that’s my job.
I’ve got representatives who’ll support me off the pitch and sort that out for me, so I just want to concentrate on playing well; whether it be for club or for country.”
(Featured Image: Lewis Mitchell)